Writer/director Paul Haggis took home two Academy Awards for his efforts on Crash, the Best Picture winner that examines racial/class tensions in modern Los Angeles through a series of inter-locking stories (note: that’s not at all related to the twisted erotic drama Crash by David Cronenberg); in the time since then, however, Haggis’ output has fallen more within the vicinity of straight-forward genre fare, like his Iraq war drama In the Valley of Elah and script work on James Bond adventure Quantum of Solace and the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 video game.
Third Person, the upcoming movie written and directed by Haggis, is the filmmaker’s return to the inter-weaving narrative thread structure of Crash. It features three stories about couples that are separated by geography (each lives in New York, Paris, and Rome, respectively), but connected through more abstract and/or tangible links. The U.S. trailer for Third Person, which you can watch above, paints a hazy picture of the situation, though everything seems to come back to Liam Neeson’s author and the peculiar novel that he’s working on.
Besides vague plot hints and actors emoting dramatically, the Third Person trailer shows off the film’s noteworthy cast, which includes Neeson and Olivia Wilde – who both costarred in Haggis’ jail breakout drama/thriller The Next Three Days – in addition to Oz the Great and Powerful costars James Franco and Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Kim Basinger (Grudge Match), Maria Bello (Prisoners), and Moran Atias (another Next Three Days alum). Said celebrity-filled cast is also highlighted in the film’s poster, which you can have a look at below (click the image to enlarge):
Third Person will be screened at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival next week, though it already premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival and, well, early buzz is decidedly not good. The Playlist‘s review calls Haggis’ new film “an audacious failure,” “glib,” and “trite,” among other not-so-positive adjectives, while The Guardian calls Third Person “staggering trash” and JoBlo‘s review says the movie is “so bad you wonder how it ever made the cut” at the 2013 TIFF. Ouch.
Admittedly, the Third Person trailer makes the film look like a mix of elements borrowed from past films that examine the writing process in a meta-fashion (Adaptation, Stranger Than Fiction, etc.) with heavy amounts of hammy drama and acting. Oh well, even if the movie really is a train-wreck, it might make for a fun at-home drinking game with your friends in the future.
Third Person is expected to open in U.S. theaters by Fall 2014.